If you sigh heavily and roll your eyes every time the phone rings; always eye your caller ID with suspicion; and habitually avoid answering the phone due to the volume of robocalls you receive, you may be wondering why so many people are allowed to call you at all hours of the day. You may answer the phone and find yourself asked for personal information, threatened by the IRS, or offered a dubious free cruise. Though you request that the robocalls stop coming, the phone keeps ringing. Is this legal?
It is a complicated question, and it depends on the nature of the robocall. It is important for anyone thinking of filing a claim against a robocaller to understand the difference between legal robocalls and illegal ones. If you are being harassed by robocalls illegally, then with the help of an experienced consumer rights attorney, you may be able to seek compensation for your stress and suffering.
Which Robocalls are Legal?
In some instances, robocalls can help provide notifications to you. These include prescription reminders, flight cancellations, messages from your school, and credit card fraud alert messages. However, these legal robocalls operate with heavy restrictions in order to protect you from unwanted messages. These robocalls need to do three things before they can be considered legal calls:
- First, all robocalls which are pre-recorded must first identify the organization, company, or individual making the call.
- The caller must include contact information where they may be reached.
- Second, legal robocallers are required to honor the National Do Not Call Registry. If your number is not on this list, and you are receiving unwanted calls, this should be your first step.
The only possible exceptions to the rules above are robocalls communicating emergency information, such as a fraud alert or flight cancellation.
Which Robocalls are Illegal?
Illegal robocalls are difficult to reduce or stop because, by their nature, they do not adhere to the communication laws or the regulations of the FCC and FTC. Often, illegal robocallers are not registered with the government, they do not buy into the National Do Not Call Registry, and they will not honor opt-out requests. In fact, these requests, if made on a robocall, often only confirms that you answered the phone, which can cause the volume of calls to increase. These robocalls are fraudulent by design, and the callers know that they are breaking the law. The contents of these robocalls can vary, from threats from the IRS to offers of a Free Cruise, but they almost always have the same intentions in mind: to steal from you.
Scams and fraudulent calls are obviously illegal, but any robocall that does not contain emergency or need-to-know information which was made to you without consent is illegal. This means that you do not have to speak to these fraudulent scam callers to obtain evidence of their ill-intent before you can prove that they have broken the law. They have broken the law just by contacting you without permission.
Around 90% of illegal robocalls are scams, frauds, and attempts to steal from consumers. These scammers are from all over the world, using spoofed phone numbers to make themselves difficult to track, calling from countries outside of the influence of the FCC’s rules. If you receive scam calls, report them to the FCC and FTC as soon as you are able, because the more information that is gathered about these scam artists, the higher the possibility that they will be tracked down and stopped. In the meantime, never speak to a suspected scammer on the phone.
Can I Get Compensation for Illegal Robocalls with the Help of an Attorney?
According to the Telephone, Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA, sales, and marketing companies may not use pre-recorded, automated calls to reach potential customers. Debt collectors and creditors may not robocall you without your consent. Scammers, of course, will always flagrantly ignore robocalling rules, but at times legitimate companies will violate the TCPA, sometimes persistently. When these violations occur, as a consumer, you are entitled to damages. Working with a robocall violation attorney, you can hold these businesses accountable for their actions.
Before any company may call you on your landline or mobile phone, in nearly every case, your consent is required. Certainly, in the case of persistent, repeated calls, requests to opt out should be honored. Unfortunately, not every company adheres to these rules, even reputable companies at times attempt to increase sales or collect money by making many, many robocalls.
Consult with a Robocalls Violation Attorney About Your Case
If you have been persistently receiving robocalls in violation of the law, you may be able to work with a robocalls violation attorney like those at Rights Protect to file a TCPA lawsuit to hold these companies liable for their illegal actions. You could recover between $500 and $1500 in compensation for any unwanted call you receive.